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Brain Res. 2011 Mar 22;1380:255-63. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.09.075. Epub 2010 Sep 25.

The treatment of anxiety symptoms in youth with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders: developmental considerations for parents.

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JFK Partners, Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Anxiety symptoms are one of the most common mental health conditions in childhood. Children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are at risk for developing mental health symptoms and anxiety in particular, especially when compared with their peers - both in the general population as well as when compared to youth with other developmental disabilities. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been identified as the treatment of choice in addressing anxiety symptoms in the general population, and an emerging body of literature indicates that modified CBT for youth with ASD can be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. In a review of these modified treatment protocols, parent involvement is emphasized as an important component of interventions for youth with ASD and anxiety. However, the majority of these studies only briefly describe the parent's role, and little mention is made with regard to how the parent's role evolves over time as children age into adolescence. In this paper, the parent's role in the treatment of anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents with high-functioning ASD will be discussed with a particular emphasis on considerations for parents of teenagers. Specific recommendations for parent involvement will be provided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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